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  #1  
Old Nov 28, '09, 1:44 pm
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Default Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

THE DIVINE ROMANCE OF CHRISTMASTIME

Many of us have known and have loved the story of Cinderella; the tale of the poor girl left alone in the cold and gloomy kitchen until she was rescued, wooed, and wed by the Prince of her dreams. I wonder how many of us can contemplate the thought of knowing likewise that the story of Cinderella reflects also the story of Humanity in disguise? If we examine this allegory, we can see that for thousands of years before Christ this Cinderella had sat helpless and forlorn at the cold hearth of heathendom, shut out from the festive ball of Paradise and utterly destitute of any means for bettering her condition. Likewise most of the human race before Christ had either been enslaved or held under the cruel domination of the greedy conqueror of the Roman Empire. Charity, as a virtue, was almost unknown. There was no such thing as a hospital or any charitable institution for the poor. So the human race was really like a Cinderella, destitute and forced to labour for her cruel and haughty stepmother, the pagan demons of a world-wide idolatry.
Then came the Prince, God’s own Son, to rescue the Cinderella of Humanity. He came in the disguise of a beggar, in that He had to assume the flesh and blood of our destitute and helpless human race. Moreover, He actually wedded our poor Humanity by uniting it---actually making it one---with His own divinity to form the Mystical Body, of which He is the Head and we the members.

But; the most remarkable thing about the Cinderella story is that it never grows old or dated, since it is re-enacted every year during reflections of Advent and Christmastime by each one of us, the modern Cinderella’s of Humanity. This Cinderella story began for most of us when we were unbaptized infants, we were like poor little Cinderella’s at the cold hearth of un-redemption. But at our baptism the Prince came down spiritually in sacramental form and wedded each one of us individually uniting our human nature to His divinity; in so close a union that individually in God we became “two in one flesh”. This He did by sharing with us intimately, His own divine “Life”, which we Catholics call “Sanctifying Grace”; which works a wonderful change in us, as if we had been a marble statue that Christ had suddenly changed to a real infant with flesh, warm and alive. Something new was added in our baptism to make each of us individually super-natural. Now His Life flows through us just as truly as our own blood circulates through our entire human flesh. This, then, is a real love story in our life journey, the sublimest, and most enchanting romance ever imagined. But what has all this to do with Christmas? Our divine romance with the Prince of our dreams, since we the Church our His Bride, is re-enacted each year at this time beginning in Advent through the season of Christmas and indeed throughout the year all through are lives.. After all Advent is a threefold event: a past, present, and future. The past, we are all familiar with the first Advent coming, of the Prince "Christ" coming to earth in Bethlehem some two-thousand years ago, when He wooed and won Humanity as a whole. But few Catholics realize today that the Advent of Christmas is also a very real coming of the Prince to each one of us with all the special graces that His first coming brought.

This means that when Christ comes down miraculously on the altar at our Christmastime Mass, when He comes into the very core of our inner heart during Christmas communion, He comes most especially as a Prince in order to woo and awe and wed us individually to a life of divine romance, still a closer union with Him. That is to say, that “Our Christmas”, “Your Christmas”, “My Christmas”, this year should mean a real growth in union and intimacy with Christ.
There is also a third Advent coming that Christmas means for all of us. Namely; it is a preview of the last great Advent of the Prince who comes by promise to take the Cinderella’s of Humanity with Him into His kingdom for eternity. This coming of Christ, which Christmas celebrates by anticipation, is almost unknown to our present generation, but the Church sings about it in the Advent hymn of her liturgy.

Hark! an awe-full voice is sounding:
"Christ is nigh! it seems to say;
"Cast away the dreams of darkness
O ye children of today...

So when next He comes with glory,
Wrapping all the earth in fear.
may He then as our Defender
On the clouds of Heaven appear.
("Lauds of Advent")

Nor is this the reminder of this Third-Coming so far-fetched as anyone might suppose. For the Prince who comes down upon the Holy Altar at the Consecration of the Christmas Mass, the Christ who comes into into our hearts in our Christmas Communion, is the self-same King of Glory, the identical Person who will come in power and majesty on the last day of the world. So this Advent is the time given to us to anticipate, to prepare for, the last Advent coming, not in the spirit of fear, but of glad welcome for the Prince of our dreams, so we may possess Him for all eternity in that closest union of divine romance, of which human marriage is but a faint figure here on earth.
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To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
G. K. Chesterton.

Last edited by centurionguard; Nov 28, '09 at 1:56 pm.
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  #2  
Old Nov 28, '09, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

How nice

Are these your own words?
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Old Nov 28, '09, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljubim View Post
How nice

Are these your own words?

Actually yes; you may have thought I borrowed exerts from a Archbishop Fulton J Sheen's book entitled ("The Divine Romance") http://www.catholicculture.org/cultu...ew.cfm?id=3782 or here http://www.piercedhearts.org/heart_c...ross_sheen.htm

Though you may find similarities with the concept of the Divine Romance with Christ which in actuality, Archbishop Sheen borrows from the inspired writings of Saint John of the Cross.
I believe you'll find one of Saint John of the Cross books entitled the Living Flame of Love a great source that reflects a profound spiritual union with God not unlike a Divine Romance that far exceeds any articulate human language.

I believe that such a Divine Spiritual Romance Union with God is a thing so, so stupendous that it cannot be grasped by our finite minds, except in small parts of vague comprehension that the spirit of God allows us to perceive. In other words it is not our doing that we reach a divine romance with God, but it is Jesus who sees a pure heart that seeks Him as a child and brings us to a spiritual union of romance in His choosing.
The Blessed Virgin Mother "Mary" of Jesus knew implicitly such Divine Romance.
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It takes courage to live through suffering; and it takes honesty to observe it. C. S. Lewis
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
G. K. Chesterton.

Last edited by centurionguard; Nov 28, '09 at 10:44 pm.
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Old Nov 29, '09, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

Quote:
Originally Posted by centurionguard View Post
Actually yes; you may have thought I borrowed exerts from a Archbishop Fulton J Sheen's book entitled ("The Divine Romance") http://www.catholicculture.org/cultu...ew.cfm?id=3782 or here http://www.piercedhearts.org/heart_c...ross_sheen.htm

Though you may find similarities with the concept of the Divine Romance with Christ which in actuality, Archbishop Sheen borrows from the inspired writings of Saint John of the Cross.
I believe you'll find one of Saint John of the Cross books entitled the Living Flame of Love a great source that reflects a profound spiritual union with God not unlike a Divine Romance that far exceeds any articulate human language.

I believe that such a Divine Spiritual Romance Union with God is a thing so, so stupendous that it cannot be grasped by our finite minds, except in small parts of vague comprehension that the spirit of God allows us to perceive. In other words it is not our doing that we reach a divine romance with God, but it is Jesus who sees a pure heart that seeks Him as a child and brings us to a spiritual union of romance in His choosing.
The Blessed Virgin Mother "Mary" of Jesus knew implicitly such Divine Romance.
That's the best way to know God, through His love!

You might want to think about becoming an author
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Old Nov 29, '09, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

Thank you for sharing that.
(I was about to start a thread ... 'Have we lost our ability to celebrate Advent?' ... but I'm going to meditate on these ideas before I decide if I want to bother.)
A very nice and helpful way to look at the Advent and Christmas seasons.
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Old Nov 29, '09, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

In my last post I touched very briefly on Mary the Immaculate Conception, mother of Jesus who understood profoundly the Divine Romance in the mystery of our Triune God. It is most fittingly to mention that the Blessed Virgin Mary would subject herself to the greatest humble role in our humanity on that first Advent. We can picture in our minds a little Jewish maid, who was ready in her heart to receive Christ, though she herself probably never really dreamed of such a privilege when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her. And her readiness? Besides her immaculate purity; her readiness consisted chiefly of this: she was completely at God’s disposal. When the great surprise of motherhood was suddenly thrust upon her, she was no more disturbed than if she had planned things that way all her life. When the necessity of a long and difficult journey was presented to her, she received it as casually as if that too had been part of her preparation. And when she found “no room in the inn” for the birth of her Child, she was resourceful as if all the world’s wealth had been at her disposal. Now in the closing of 2009 we begin a new liturgical Church year.

The Church gives us Mary as one of our guides for Advent, which reminds us that our best preparation in these four weeks of Advent, should be like what Mary expressed in her total surrender to whatever was God’s will for her “Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done to me according to thy word”. This is why in the opening Mass of the holy season, the liturgy has chosen for the Stational Church that of Saint Mary Major, which even today two thousand years later possesses the actual manger of Bethlehem. Would it not be proper for God to say to us, “Kneel here with her the Immaculate Conception, for she herself is the spotless crib where divinity and humanity met in a perfect embrace. My Blessed Mother Mary will teach you how you can prepare your own soul to cradle the Christ Child to become the abiding resting place for divinity upon the earth.
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To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
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Old Nov 29, '09, 6:05 pm
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Red face Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

Quote:
Originally Posted by centurionguard View Post

The Church gives us Mary as one of our guides for Advent, which reminds us that our best preparation in these four weeks of Advent, should be like what Mary expressed in her total surrender to whatever was God’s will for her “Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done to me according to thy word”.
Hmm..
I think I'll persevere with my rosary 'experiment'.
I've been lazy with my prayer life and I'm hoping that praying the rosary this advent will help. Coming from an Anglican background I'm finding it difficult to pray to Mary and be aware that she's praying to God with me.
Sorry. I don't want to derail your thread. Mary will help me this Advent I trust.

God bless you Centurion!
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Old Nov 30, '09, 11:16 am
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

There are some old writings within the Church that tells the story of the Mystery Play of the Christmas Cycle. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10348a.htm
Mysteries and Plays These two names are used to designate the religious drama which developed among Christian nations at the end of the Middle Ages. It should be noted that the word "mystery" has often been applied to all Christian dramas prior to the sixteenth century, whereas it should be confined to those of the fifteenth century, which represent the great dramatic effort anterior to the Renaissance. Before this period dramatic pieces were called "plays" or "miracles". The embryonic representations, at first given in the interior of the churches, have been designated as liturgical dramas.

The mystery play of the Christmas Cycle naturally falls into three acts, corresponding to the three divisions of the season: Advent, Christmastide, and the Epiphany. Here in the following is a synopsis of that play:

ACT: 1 Advent: The Desired of Nations, The Spouse of Humanity Comes. Prepare the Way Of the Lord.
1. He is so long awaited as seen from afar. (“First Sunday of Advent”)
2. Humanity (“the Church”) His Bride-to-Be, arrays herself to meet Him (“Second Sunday of Advent”)
3. “Rejoice” He is very near indeed (“Third Sunday of Advent”)
4. “A King of shreds and patches!”- Divinity clothed in frail Humility! (“Ember Week” “Fourth Sunday of Advent”)
5. Breathless expectancy! He is at the very door of this world born in a cave (“Christmas Eve”)

ACT: 2 He Comes: A Vagabond King in the Garb of Humanity! (“Christmas”) (“Love in a cave beneath the earth, while the minions of Hate still scour the outer darkness to destroy Him.”)
His Retinue:
1. Martyrs: Saint Stephen Dec 26th
2. Virgins: Saint John, Dec 27th
3. Little Children: Holy Innocents, Dec 28th

ACT 3. The Prince in Shining Majesty Weds the Lowly Spouse Humanity. (“Epiphany”)
In a dramatic climax the Vesper antiphon proclaims; Tis today that the Church (“in you and me”) is united to her Divine Spouse: for Christ has cleansed her sins in the royal nuptials (“Epiphany”); and the guest of the wedding banquet rejoice at the changing of water into wine (“at the Eucharistic Sacrifice”)
Thus has the Church in her Christmas Cycle taken the external texture of her unchanging Sacrifice and, with the threads of prophecy, of psalmist yearnings and of gospel lore, woven the living tapestry of her Divine Romance. Such a love story can never grow old until the Prince of Love, having wedded the last forlorn human soul on earth, comes in His final Advent to invite us all into the eternal marriage feast of heaven.
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It takes courage to live through suffering; and it takes honesty to observe it. C. S. Lewis
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
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  #9  
Old Nov 30, '09, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

St. John of the Cross Doctor of the Church wrote Poetry on Romance of the Incarnation

Romance #8.

1. Then He called

The Angel Gabriel

And sent him to

The Virgin Mary,

2. At whose consent

The mystery was wrought,

In whom the Trinity

Clothed the Word with flesh.

3. And though Three work this,

It is wrought in the One:

And the Word lived incarnate

In the womb of Mary.

4. And He who had only a Father

Now had a Mother too,

But she was not like others

Who conceive by man.

5. From her own flesh

He received His flesh,

So He is called

Son of God and of man.

Romance #9.

1. When the time had come

For Him to be born

He went forth like the bridegroom

From his bridal chamber,

2. Embracing His bride,

Holding her in His arms,

Whom the gracious Mother

Laid in a manger

3. Among some animals

That were there at that time.

Men sang songs

And angels melodies

4. Celebrating the marriage

Of Two such as these.

But God there in the manger

Cried and moaned;

5. And these tears were jewels

The bride brought to the wedding.

The Mother gazed in sheer wonder

On such an exchange:

6. In God, man's weeping,

And in man, gladness,

To the one and the other

Things usually so strange.

........................................ ......

The very root of our life in the Trinity is given to us in the Romances; especially in the sixth and final verse of Romance 9.
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It takes courage to live through suffering; and it takes honesty to observe it. C. S. Lewis
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
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Old Dec 1, '09, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

Saint Augustine of Hippo; Bishop of Milan; who was baptised by Saint Ambrose in 386 gave one of the most beautiful sermons ever spoken on the INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD*: http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/syl.../12AU3BDLB7KQE

He by whom all things were made was made one of all things. The Son of God by the Father without a mother became the Son of man by a mother without a father. The Word Who is God before all time became flesh at the appointed time. The maker of the sun was made under the sun. He Who fills the world lays in a manger, great in the form of God but tiny in the form of a servant; this was in such a way that neither was His greatness diminished by His tininess, nor was His tininess overcome by

His greatness. (St. Augustine, Sermon 187 1.1)
+ God became a human being, so that in one person you could have both something to see and something to believe. (St. Augustine, Sermon 126, 5)

+ He lies in a manger, but contains the world. He feeds at the breast, but also feeds the angels. He is wrapped in swaddling clothes, but vests us with immortality. He found no place in the inn, but makes for Himself a temple in the hearts of believers. In order that weakness might become strong, and strength became weak. (St. Augustine, Sermon 190 3, 4)

+ He so loved us that for our sake He was made man in time, through Whom all times were made; was in the world less in years than His servants, though older than the world itself in His eternity; was made man, Who made man; was created of a mother, whom He created; was carried by hands which He formed; nursed at the breasts which He had filled; cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word without Whom all human eloquence is mute.(St. Augustine Sermon 188 2,2)

+ He who was God was made man by taking on what He was not, not by losing what He was... Let Christ, therefore, lift you up by that which is human in Him; let Him lead you by that which is God—man; let Him guide you through to that which is God. (St. Augustine, on 1 .John 23, 61)

+ Truth, eternally existing in the bosom of the Father, has sprung from the earth so that He might exist also in the bosom of a mother. Truth, holding the world in place, has sprung from the earth so that He might be carried in the hands of a woman. (St. Augustine, Sermon 185, 3)
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It takes courage to live through suffering; and it takes honesty to observe it. C. S. Lewis
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
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Old Dec 1, '09, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

A noted poet was once asked in an interview if he could explain one of his poems “in ordinary terms.” He replied with some feeling: “If I could say what I meant in ordinary terms, I would not have had to write such poem.

From the time of Christ’s birth, the people of God have felt compelled inwardly to write poems about Christmas, composing a single stranded paean of praise spanning down through the centuries, because ultimately the meaning of Christmas resist being fully spelled out “in ordinary terms” Some strands in these poems recur consistently, albeit with infinite varied nuances, becoming as familiar and necessary to the whole of the rhythm of the author. One such nuance is the ever-incredible paradox of the powerless Almighty-as, for instance, in the words about the Incarnation by Saint Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers in France: “We hear the one at whose Word the angels and archangels tremble, cry like a child.

Other poets speak of the infinite mercy of God, of Hope renewed, or the motherhood of Mary. Still other poetic strands, instead, seem to startle us with a flash of intuition, suddenly casting a new light on what we already know: God became human that we might become human (“St. Augustine”). And through all these poetic strands runs a joyful refrain giving tongue to our deep-seated need to worship: “God’s Son became a human being. All our efforts to fully understand this great mystery are in vain. All that we can do is what the shepherds of the field did...namely, worship, believe and praise God.
No one who has been exposed to any part of this sublime mystery can fail to be affected by it. And yet so often a gnawing doubt assails us:

Our “real” Christmases, the ones we celebrate with decorated trees and Christmas presents, seem to be lived out under the fluctuation of two very different and yet related realms in society. One is the world of suffering: all that public and private anguish, loneliness and destruction that appear to be irreversibly cut off from the “good cheer” of the season which seems in fact only to deepen the sense of despair for those unfortunate enough to be caught (“on the outside”) of Christmas; on the other hand is the realm of the “Mammon” or the material wealth and greed of society, which seems to have appropriated Christmas for itself, retaining all the appearances of pious sentiment, of lights and color (“and of course, the essential exchanging of gifts”), while emptying our “real” Christmas of all else and in the process, compounding the loneliness and despair for the poor who live on the “outside” of Christmas.

It is a wonder how such devout Christian beliefs and practices of a simpler age can hold out against such a harsh reality in this world.

(“God’s Only Beloved Son becoming human is not some light-hearted carefree event in time. In reality it is a scandal when one contemplates the wood of His very crib one day becoming the wood of His Cross. God meets us in the lowliness of a child”)
This then is reality; it is the suffering world, desperately in need of redemption, that cried out for God to come into our world. God answered unexpectedly by becoming a small infant child destined to be martyred. The Christmas celebrated in our secular society, is an illusion that we children of God are called to penetrate and reclaim for reality. “God became human. We did not become God.

The human dispensation of suffering continues, and it must continue (“if we have something in common with Christ’s suffering”) but it is consecrated by God. And we have become more. We have also been strengthened. Let us trust our life, then, because the holy Eve and Season of Christmas has brought us Light. Let us trust life, because we do not live it alone. God lives it with us.

Written by a Jesuit Priest (“Alfred Delp”) awaiting execution by the German Nazis.
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To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
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Old Dec 2, '09, 6:34 am
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

Who could doubt the greatness of this event that the exalted ruler of creation should come down from such a great heavenly distance to a place that was so unworthy? Why, then, did He come down? We know why, because what he actually said and did tell us clearly the reason for His coming. He hurried down from the mountains to look among the hundreds of sheep for the one that had gone astray. He came for our sake, so that His mercy and His wonderful deeds would proclaim to the human race more visibly the praise of the Lord.

How wonderful is the condescension of the God who seeks us and how great is the dignity of those who are sought by Him!

All the wealth and all the glory of the world and everything that is desirable in the world...None of this means so much as this great honour. Nothing can be compared with it. Lord; what is the human-race, that you have made it so great?

Why are you so attached to it? It would have been more appropriate, surely, if we had come to Him. But two things prevented us from doing that. Our eyes were clouded and He dwells in inaccessible light. And we were crippled and could not come to Him. That is why He came to us...He the Physician of our souls.

By Saint Bernard de Clairvaux (1090-1153)
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To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
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Old Dec 2, '09, 6:37 am
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

Lord; what suitable response can we make to such a great honor? The honor that you have bestowed on the human race by giving us such great love?

God’s only Son, whose divine origin is beyond description, entered the womb of the holy Virgin and assumed the form of a human being.

He, who holds everything into being and in whom and for whom everything exists, was born in harmony with the laws of human nature. The One, at whose voice angels and archangels tremble and heaven and earth and all the elements of this world melt away.

The Unseen One, who does not let himself be confined to any human reality, whom we can neither touch, nor feel, nor hold.

We see Him in a manger, wrapped in swaddling cloths. Anyone who thinks about these things that are so unworthy of God will be all the more strongly convinced of His love. For Him, by whose will we were created, it was, after all, not necessary for Him to become human.

But it was for us that He assumed human nature and wanted to live among us. His humility is our great dignity. God was born as a human being! Or, to look at it from another point of view, we were reborn in God.

By Saint Hilary (Bishop of Poitiers France) died 367 A.D.
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To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
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Old Dec 3, '09, 6:10 am
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

Out on a hillside in a stable cave, where shepherds sometimes drove their flocks in time of storm, Joseph and Mary went at last for shelter. There, in a place of peace in the lonely abandonment of a cold windswept cave, there under the floor of the world, He Who is born without a mother in heaven, is born without a father on earth.

Of every other child that is born into this world, friends can say that it resembles his mother. This was the first instance in time that anyone could say that the mother resembled the Child. This is the beautiful paradox of the Child Who made his mother, the mother, too, was only a child. It was also the first time in history of this world that anyone could ever think of heaven as being anywhere else than “somewhere up there”; when the infant Child Jesus was in her arms, Mary now looked down to Heaven.

In the filthiest place in the world, Purity is born. He, Who was later to be slaughtered, “crucified” by men acting as beasts, was born among beasts. He, Who would call Himself the “living Bread descended from Heaven,” was laid in a manger, literally, a cow trough, a place to eat. Centuries before, the Jews had worshiped the golden calf, and the Greeks, the donkey. Men bowed down to them as a God. The ox and the donkey now were present in the stable to make their innocent reparation, bowing down before their God.

There was no room in the inn, but there was room in the stable. The inn is the gathering place of public opinion, the focal point of the world’s moods, the rendezvous of the worldly, the rallying place of the popular and the successful. But the stable is a place for the out-casts, the ignored, the forgotten.

The world might have expected the Son of God to be born...if He was to be born at all...in an inn. A stable would be the last place in the world where one would have looked for Him. (“Divinity is always where one least expects to find it”) No worldly mind would ever have suspected that He, Who could create the sun to warm the earth would one day have need of an ox and donkey to warm Him with their breath; and to think that He, Who in the language of Scriptures, could stop the turning about of the star Arcturus would have His birthplace dictated by an imperial census; that He, Who clothed the fields with grass, would Himself be naked; that He, from Whose hands came the planets and stars, would one day have tiny arms that were not long enough to touch the huge heads of cattle, that the feet which trod the everlasting hills would one day be too weak to walk; that the Eternal World would be dumb, that Omnipotence would be wrapped in swaddling clothes, that Salvation would lie in a manger, a place where cows eat. No one would ever have suspected that God coming to this earth would ever be so helpless.

And that is precisely why so many miss Him. (“Divinity is always where one least expects to find it”) For the Creator to come among His creatures and be ignored by them, for God to come among His own and not be received by His own; for God to be homeless at home; that could only mean one thing to the worldly mind: the Babe could not have been God at all. And that is just why the world missed Him. (“Divinity is always where on least expects to find it”)

The Son of God made man was invited to enter His own world through a back door. Exiled from the earth, He was born under the earth, in a sense, the first Cave Man in recorded history. There He shook the earth to its very foundations. Because He was born in a cave, hewn out of rock, all who wish to see Him must stoop.
To stoop is the mark of humility. The proud refuse to stoop and, therefore, they miss Divinity. Those however, who bend their egos and enter, find that they are not in a cave at all, but in a new universe where sits a Holy Babe on His mother’s lap, with the world poised on His fingers.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
b: May 8, 1895 – d: December 9, 1979
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It takes courage to live through suffering; and it takes honesty to observe it. C. S. Lewis
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
G. K. Chesterton.
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Old Dec 8, '09, 5:39 am
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Default Re: Advent Reflection: The Divine Romance Of Christmastime

DECEMBER 8th
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

“God freely chose Mary from all eternity to be the Mother of his Son. In order to carry out her mission she herself was conceived immaculate. This means that, thanks to the grace of God and in anticipation of the merits of Jesus Christ, Mary was preserved from original sin from the first instant of her conception.” – Compendium of the CCC

“Just suppose that you could have pre-existed your own mother, in much the same way that an artist pre-exists his painting. Furthermore, suppose that you had the infinite power to make your mother anything that you pleased, just as a great artist like Raphael has the power of realizing his artistic ideas. Suppose you had this double power, what kind of mother would you have made for yourself? Would you have made her of such a type that would make you blush because of her unwomanly and un-mother-like actions? Would you have made her exteriorly and interiorly of such a character as to make you ashamed of her? Or would you have made her, so far as human beauty goes; the most beautiful woman in the world; and so far as beauty of the soul goes, one who would radiate every virtue, every manner of kindness and charity and loveliness; one who by the purity of her life and her mind and her heart would be an inspiration not only to you but even to your fellow men, so that all would look up to her as the very incarnation of what is best in motherhood?

Now if you who are an imperfect being and who have not the most delicate conception of all that is fine in life would have wished for the loveliest of mothers, do you think that our Blessed Lord, who not only pre-existed His own mother but who had an infinite power to make her just what He chose, would in virtue of all the infinite delicacy of His spirit make her any less pure and loving and beautiful than you would have made your own mother? If you who hate selfishness would have made her selfless and you who hate ugliness would have made her beautiful, do you not think that the Son of God, who hates sin, would have made His own mother sinless and He who hates moral ugliness would have made her immaculately beautiful?” –
Archbishop Fulton Sheen
__________________
It takes courage to live through suffering; and it takes honesty to observe it. C. S. Lewis
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
G. K. Chesterton.
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